Hello friends! We have some exciting news: Pluginize is sponsoring WordCamp Toronto 2016, which is coming up on August 6th-7th!

As we say over on the WebDevStudios blog: For those of you who are unfamiliar, WordCamps are events held all over the world where WordPress nerds unite to share their skills, insights, and learn a whole lot from a bunch of other smarties.

Our CTO, Brian Messenlehner, will be presenting, too! Get more details on his presentation below, as well as some others that stood out to us as particularly interesting. If you see him, make sure to say hello and grab some Pluginize swag!

Saturday, August 6th

11 AM – Raising Awareness About Digital Accessibility (panel) – Billy Gregory, Anthony D Paul, & Shawn Hooper

1 PM – Unlocking the Awesome Magical Power of MU-Plugins – Mikel King

Mikel will demonstrate a key concept in building a foundation around an MU Plugin, and extending these in different directions as needed. He will demonstrate how he uses advance object oriented coding practices to reuse code blocks under the DRY method. He will also do a live demonstration where he builds a new plugin based on the mu plugin, up through git, and all the layers of code quality enforcement using phpcs and phpunit, and finally push new plugin via Jenkins deployment/build system to a working environment. This is a complete plugin development using advance PHP OOP inheritance next level techniques. 

4:30 PM – Next-Generation Data-Driven Plugin Development – Vova Feldman

WordPress.org is an amazing repository and one of the key components made WordPress a huge success. Having a plugin or theme on WordPress.org is awesome, but something you don’t get much of is data. All you get is the number of downloads and estimated count of active installs, but who, what, where, how, and why? Not so much. This makes most of the development decisions based on gut and guesswork. What sounds easy to the plugin developer, can be extremely hard and not user-friendly to end-users.

In this discussion, Vova will share a few simple methods of how we collected usage data and feedback from our plugin users (RatingWidget), that helped us improve our plugin’s UX and significantly reduce abandon rate.

Sunday, August 7th

11 AM – Clean Code – Shawn Hooper

Yes, your code works, but is it the best it could be? This talk will guide you through tips and tricks to make your code efficient, safe, and easy to read. It’s a great primer for new developers, and a good reminder for those of us who have developed bad habits over time.

12 PM – Giving Back to WordPress.org – No Code Required! – Meagan Hanes

Contributing to WordPress is one of the best ways to get involved with the larger community of makers, paves the way forward for everyone who uses WordPress, and helps you grow your understanding and expertise. With over ten distinct Make.WordPress.Org teams and Meetups in many towns, you’re guaranteed to find a special place to contribute. Best of all, code isn’t required! Those attending any Contributor Day should consider attending this Talk to better familiarize themselves.

2 PM – Contextual Personas for Content Design – Jesse Emmanuel Rosario

What do companies such as Slack and Porter Airlines have in common? Not only do they have well-designed interfaces that get your users’ job done, but also content that is clear, intentional, and serves a unique purpose. In an age where great design is won or lost at the user experience (UX) level, how can we ensure that we deliver websites or apps that are not just pretty but also purposeful in both design and content?

In this session, we will be using a UX research technique called “Contextual Personas” to kickstart your content design process. We will be mashing up the time-honoured techniques of persona creation, such as user interviews, contextual inquiry, etc., with strategic foresight methods to identify some user types and content strategies for your target audience. By identifying users across their most critical and uncertain needs, we will be able to pinpoint what exactly do they want out of our product or service and how we can achieve their goals through our copy, through our design, and throughout their user journey.

Don’t let “lorem ipsum” hold you back! Let contextual personas deliver the insight you need to build digital products that users love.

3 PM – Move All The Things To WordPress! – Brian Messenlehner

As WordPress becomes more popular, more people and companies who are using other content management systems will want to migrate their websites into WordPress. We will cover how to go about migrating data from various open source and proprietary web based applications into WordPress. It’s all about that database–no trouble when migrating from well architected db schemas. Sometimes you may have to import content from provided CSV, XML, JSON or HTML files/feeds/pages–ok, no problemo. In some extreme cases, you may not have access to any of the data and might have to page scrape an entire website into WordPress–sure, why not? There can be many technical challenges with migrating data into WordPress but nothing we can’t solve with some planning and some code. Brian will showcase some of the large scale WordPress migrations he has worked on at WebDevStudios for some companies like Microsoft, DrugFree.org, Newark NJ Public Schools, Campbell’s Soup, and HEB.

Session descriptions pulled from the WordCamp Toronto website, with some edits for clarity.


Will we see you there? If you can’t make it, but want to live vicariously through the internet, you can follow WordCamp Toronto @WCYYZ or keep tabs on #WCTO16.

Catch you in Canada!

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